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By Florence Mukunya

A professional CV has more than more than five very important sections in it, but of most importance to a recruiter is the work experience section.

Remember employers are looking to hire candidates who have similar experience to the position they are looking to fill, so where else can they look for this information apart from your work experience section on the CV.

Apart from the actual duties and responsibilities you have held, employers also want to understand the duration you have worked and the companies you have worked with in the past.

You may wonder why previous company information matters, Carolyne Kariuki, a Recruitment Manager at Corporate Staffing Services says that, recruiters want candidates coming from an industry that match with what they do.

If an employer is in banking industry and are for example looking for an accountant, they will go for a candidate who has Accounts experience in the banking industry as opposed to someone who has worked as an Accountant in the hotel industry.” She says

Highly Recommended: What Do Employers Look For In A CV?

So, what are recruiters looking for in your work experience section?

1. Job titles

Indicating your jobs titles on your CV matters most, remember a recruiter has a minute or less to go through your CV and understand what it is that you do. If they can’t figure quick enough on what your job titles are then how do they get to know what you can do?

When it comes job titles also remember to put what it is you have exactly handled, a good example is if you are a payroll Accountant, which means you have specialized in handling payroll, indicate that as opposed to just general accountant because if an employer is keen on payroll accountants you will easily grab his attention.

2. Company name

This is simple as it involves just mentioning the official name of the company. As mentioned above, it helps the recruiter in understanding more about the industry you have worked for. How you ask? they just need to put the name of the company on Google and with one click they will get a brief on the industry and what you are used to working with.

3. The Duration on your work experience section

You have seen that job advertisement indicate the years of experience required for you to apply for a certain job, this then means that when writing your CV you need to include the number of years you have worked in each position included on your CV.

When writing this on the CV, you can concentrate more on the months and the years as opposed to the day. For example June 2010-April 2013 as opposed to 23rd June 2010- 31st April 2013.

4. Duties and Responsibilities

You might have been applying for jobs for the longest time now and you never hear from recruiters, the problem might be with your duties and responsibilities section. For lack of better word, this is the heart of a CV.

According to Melody Mwendwa a CV writing professional at Corporate Staffing Services, your past and current duties and responsibilities are what determines whether you have what the recruiter is looking for in terms of experience or not.

A common mistake I have noted in 70% of the CV I receive is that most duties and responsibilities are copied straight from the candidates job description without being summarized.” Says Ms. Mwendwa

To this, she advises job seekers to go through the roles on their job descriptions and summaries them, also when writing a CV they should bullet the points as opposed to using a prose format which is easy to read.

5. Achievements

This is anything you have accomplished especially by putting in special effort.

Achievements distinguish you from an ordinary job seeker which gives you an edge over other candidates who apply for the same positions as you. Some of these achievements could be increased sales, and here note that numbers do not lie, so indicate the percentages or the numbers sales were increased by.

If you do not have any do not feel the need to lie on the CV as employers have a way of evaluating whether this information is true or not.

In conclusion, below is a sample work experience section on a CV.

Sales Representative;

ABC Company, February 2001 – July 2003;

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Identified prospective customers/distributors and followed leads from existing clients
  • Contacted new and existing customers to discuss their needs and to explain how specific products and services can meet these needs
  • Helped customers select products based on the customers’ needs, product specifications, and regulations
  • Answered customers’ questions about prices, availability and product uses
  • Prepared sales contracts and submit orders for processing

Do you think that your work experience CV section is compelling enough?Contact our CV writing department for CV review.

The writer is a Communications Officer at Corporate Staffing Services, a leading Recruitment firm that offers CV Writing, Job Placement & Career Advice. Email